The goal of this essay contest is to help New York State students connect with the history in their communities while developing their research, writing, and critical thinking skills.

Student essays will be judged by historians, educators, and museum professionals who have both an interest and expertise in colonial New York history.

All submissions will be read and reviewed and then narrowed down to five finalists in each division.  The finalists will be invited to Cooperstown during the New York State History Day contest on May 1, 2009.  Finalists and their families will receive free admission to The Farmers’ Museum, Fenimore Art Museum, and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.  The contest winners will be announced at the New York State History Day award ceremony, held later that day.

Judges will use criteria similar to that developed and used by the National History Day program:  
- 60% Historical Quality:
Is the entry historically accurate?
Does it provide analysis and interpretation?
Does it support its analysis with adequate historical evidence?
Does it demonstrate an understanding of the historical context (time, place, and events of the time period)?
Does the bibliography show wide research?
- 20% Relation to subject:
Does the essay address the topic as determined by the division requirements?
- 20% Style and Grammar:
Is the essay original and creative in its topic and presentation?
Is it clear, grammatically correct, and accurately spelled?
Is it well-organized?
The decision of the judges is final.

Questions? Please contact the Office of Statewide Programs at 607-547-1534 or statwideprograms@nysha.org.


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